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Judge: Gay Softball League Can Limit Number Of Straight Players

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(credit:  Jamie Grill/Getty Images)

(credit: Jamie Grill/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) — Is it a 21st-century Constitutional battle or age-old discrimination in reverse?

A federal judge in Seattle ruled this week that a homosexual softball organization can limit the number of heterosexual players on each team.

The North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance (NAGAAA) oversees gay softball leagues in Los Angeles, Long Beach, and dozens of other U.S. cities, in addition to running an annual tournament called the Gay Softball World Series.

Three men claim in a lawsuit that their team’s second-place finish in the 2008 tournament in Washington state was nullified because they are bisexual — not gay — and thus their team exceeded the limit of two non-gay players.

U.S. District Judge John Coughenour ruled that the organization has a First Amendment right to limit the number of heterosexual players.

However, the judge did say that questions remain about the way the softball association applied its rule, and so the case can proceed.

The NAGAAA bills itself as an “organization that promotes amateur sports competition, particularly softball, for all persons regardless of age, sexual orientation or preference” on its website.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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